Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

World's 10 weirdest beauty treatments


A new beauty treatment offers to rejuvenate your skin - using sheep's placenta as its key ingredient. The Sheep Placenta Hand & Décolleté Rejuvenation Treatment, available at the Jill Zander Skin Rejuvenation Clinic, promises to "harness the power of stem cells harvested from New Zealand sheep" to lift and tighten your features.

Controversial it may be, but it's by far the only unusual fad to take the beauty world by fire in the past few years. From pigs' trotters collagen cuisine to snail secretion skin cream, come take a look at some of the world's weirdest beauty treatments, below.

Picture credits: Rex Features

Sheep placenta hand & décolleté treatment

Are your hands and cleavage losing their firmness and plumpness? Fear not, the sheep placenta treatment is here to help. This revolutionary trend comes straight from LA, with a celebrity following that is said to include Victoria Beckham and Kim Kardashian. It stimulates cell growth using stem cells from New Zealand sheep and is available at the Jill Zander Skin Rejuvenation Clinic in the UK - also one of the first places in Britain to introduce the Sheep Placenta Stem Cell Facial.

Bull Semen Hair Conditioner

It may sound like something from There's Something About Mary, but Hari's hairdressers, in Knightsbridge, London, offers clients organically-produced bull's semen combined with the root of protein-rich plant katera to massage into their hair as part of a deluxe blow-dry. Owner Hari Salem is quick to reassure that "the semen is refrigerated before use and doesn't smell". "It will be an ongoing treatment as long as the bulls perform," he noted.

Bird Poop Facial

Known as the Bird Poop Facial in New York and the Geisha Facial in London, this unique treatment stems from Japan and involves drying bird droppings under UV lights then mixing with rice bran and water and applying as a face mask, producing fresh and glowing skin.

Pigs' Trotters Collagen Cuisine

This unorthodox anti-aging fad began in Japan and quickly spread to New York. It involves the physical consumption of collagen-rich pig's feet to banish wrinkles and ensure smooth, youthful skin.

"Collagen helps your body retain moisture," explains Himi Okajima, the owner of a chain of restaurants specialising in collagen cuisine in Japan. "Your hair and skin will look better, but it's not just for looking beautiful now. If you begin eating collagen in your thirties, you will look younger in your forties."

Placenta Face Cream

Madonna and Eva Longoria are among those rumoured to be fans of this unusual face cream made from sheep placenta protein extract, otherwise known as living cell therapy. According to EMK, one of the manufacturers to delevop such a treatment, “the placenta is known to improve metabolic processes, accelerate tissue regeneration, and stimulate immunity.”

Snail secretion skin cream

A number of different beauty products use snail serum, which also goes by the name of Helix Aspersa Müller Glycoconjugates (a nice easy one to ask for at the beauty counter, then).

An organic, natural ingredient, it is gathered pure from live snails, mostly in laboratories in Chile (products highlight that snails are not harmed in the process). Its powerful biological properties are said to help relieve skin conditions such as acne, as well as reducing wrinkles and improving dull complexions.

Leech therapy

Leech therapy as a medicinal cure has been around for centuries, but it was only when Demi Moore famously swore by the potential of "high-level blood suckers" as an alternative means to "detoxify my blood" that it saw a resurgence as a beauty treatment.

Available at a handful of bespoke beauty clinics across the world, the process involves attaching leeches to the bare skin for around two hours so they can release enzymes into your bloodstream, improving your circulation and leaving you well and truly bitten.

Fish pedicures

The use of tiny Garra Rufa fish has gained popularity in spas across the UK and the US. Clients can dunk their feet into tanks filled with the toothless carp, who have the thankless task of nibbling away dead skin. However, the technique is currently under investigation with fears it could lead to infection and disease.

Beer baths

Once upon a time a beer bath would be a novelty reserved for rock stars, but now a number of hotels across Europe (especially in Prague) are offering it as a theraputic treatment.

Combining specially brewed malt, beer yeast, hops and mineral elements heated to over 30°C, the bath helps sweat away toxins, leaving skin glowing and refreshed. Just don't do it on a hangover...

Bee Venom Mask

Touted as the natural and organic alternative to Botox, this £55 face mask contains a bee venom ingredient that promises to immediately lift, tighten and firm facial muscles.

The product, released by Heaven by Deborah Mitchell, won an £100 million contract in China and is endorsed by Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.



From Zombie Studies to Simpsons Philosophy, unusual university courses


Our 50 favourite childhood games


What not to do at a wedding



The golden rules of washing your face

Clean and glowing skin, right this way by Sarah Biddlecombe

25 Nov 2015

Watch what happens when mums recreate their daughters' selfies

“WTF mum! You look like you've seen a ghost” by Anna Pollitt

25 Nov 2015

See how this woman got 11 tattoos in one week

Accelerated ink by Anna Pollitt

24 Nov 2015

New ‘hidden’ hair dye trend is perfect for the wary and cautious

Now you see it, now you don't... by Sejal Kapadia

23 Nov 2015

“There's a huge social stigma to being overweight”

One woman's account of fat shaming in China

20 Nov 2015

Sunset Hair is the most eye-catching beauty trend for 2015

We've fallen in love with this bold look by Sarah Biddlecombe

18 Nov 2015

The five cult beauty products recommended by celebrity make-up artists

And where you can get your hands on them by Sarah Biddlecombe

17 Nov 2015

Crazy and spectacular nail art looks straight from Tokyo’s nail expo

3D Tinkerbell and embellished sparkly flowers, anyone? by Sarah Biddlecombe

16 Nov 2015

The winners of 2015's Stylist Skincare Awards

We reveal the coveted winners of our sixth annual Skincare Awards by Joanna McGarry

11 Nov 2015

The easiest and most useful one-picture beauty tutorials

From a classic French braid to the ultimate eyeliner flick by Sarah Biddlecombe

09 Nov 2015